Repurpose: Converted Shipping Containers

Spotted in Nandihills, Kenya January 2009.
I saw one just like this in Bungoma, but was not quick enough with the camera to get a good shot. Turns out Zain, a major mobile phone service operator is using these as pre-fab offices in rural areas.

Converted shipping container to Mobile Office

Spotted in Nairobi, January 2008
At Lagoon, a bar/nyama choma (roast meat) joint.

Shipping Container/Office

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16 comments » Write a comment

  1. What a great idea. Anytime a product is created the manufacturer should have to have a recycling plan for his product.

  2. There is a company here in Kenya, 58 Containers, I believe is the name. Anyway they use these shipping containers to sell cooking gas cylinders. I have never thought to photograph one though.

  3. Saw hem all over the place in and around Dar-Es-Salaam (TZ) in 2006. Quite a few where used to live in, but a lot just as “coca-cola shops” in village and along the road.

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  6. These containers have been converted to homes, storage for construction sites, coke stalls, schools, shops and storage facilities all over Kenya. They are even used in the national parks as curio shops. Cheap, lockable and safe. Great post – .I tried to buy one once, costs about Ksh 50,000 – 200,000 depending on amount of damage and rust. These containers are dumped in Mombasa once they become unsea worthy …. it’s the best place to buy them. Just that you need a fork lift to move them. Isn’t there a hotel called Ferarri or something that is made up of stacked containers?

  7. I Know a police sentry post that has been built with this kind of containers. It is in Yaoundee (Cameroon)

    The police men go in and out every time so they cannot die by warm. But… how do they do it for cooling it?

  8. Shipping containers are also used as prison cells in Eritrea. They place them in the desert and let the prisoners suffocate in the heat of the day and freeze through the night.

    It is a humbling thought that reveals our true sinful nature: cruelty and innovation are never far apart.

  9. Go to Lokichoggio and you will see almost as many containers used as offices, stores etc. as you do ‘normal’ buildings. The UN camp is full of them, some with airconditioning.
    In Sudan we used them as stores even as far back as 1980’s and when we had to leave in a hurry in 1987 we left what we could not take with us in a container. Unfortunately this was broken into during the war, and we lost all!

  10. There is a non-profit organization that ships these containers full of books and library shelving to Africa. At the ultimate destination, the container is converted into a free-standing children’s library. The idea came from observing how the units are used throughout Africa. Brilliant!

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    I have seen these containers all over South Africa. They are an excellent way for many would be Entrepreneurs who would other wise be unable to start a business. There are many, many ventures that can be started from these containers. They are an excellent idea!

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